3 Little-Known Places to Experience Tea Culture in Kyoto
The colours of autumn are now hitting Kyoto, Japan’s ancient city steeped in history, culture and tradition and one visited by countless tourists―both Japanese and foreign―every year.
The staff at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON took a trip to Kyoto to gather information. The theme of the research is “Discover your own Kyoto.” We will introduce you to 3 little-known places in Japan’s former Imperial capital that are not yet known by many people.
This is the first article in a series where we look at the tea of Kyoto. Here are our recommendations if you want to experience Kyoto Infused with Tea culture.
1: “How to Properly Pour Tea” – Learning the proper methods at Fukujuen
The first place we want to recommend is Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop. The closest station to it is Uji Station which you can get to in one stop from Kyoto Station via the JR Line.
Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop was established after seeing the amount of people sitting comfortably at home pouring tea from a teapot on the decrease in favour of bottled tea. In response to this, they decided to set up a facility for people to relearn the culture of the traditional Japanese kyūsu teapot and the history of tea. They currently hold over 20 courses for people to get involved with.
Learning to Pour Tea Course (Gyokuro Tea): ¥1,188 (Tax Included)
We took the tea-pouring course which uses gyokuro green tea. Gyokuro has a sweeter taste to it compared to sencha. It’s also different from sencha in that it is grown under the shade, outside of sunlight. This means it has more theanine in it, giving the tea a more delicious taste.
The necessary tools and confection needed to pour the tea are laid out for you when you sit down. You must then follow the directions of the staff while pouring the tea.
This was the first gyokuro tea we poured. The first cup has gyokuro extract in it which tastes rich. The tea tastes sweet and smooth. We could really feel its full, ambrosial taste.
The first 1-2 cups you drink are to fully appreciate the taste of the tea. From the third cup you can start eating the houjicha sweet bean jelly confection provided. The sweet taste of the jelly goes perfectly with the tea. The tea leaves used in this course last for 6 cups so relax, take your time and enjoy.
The tea-pouring course has instructions in both English and Chinese, so foreign visitors can enjoy themselves without worry.
Other courses include tea leaf picking in the tea gardens which is available during certain seasons only. There’s also a reference library to learn all about the history of tea.
If you love tea and want to learn all there is to know about tea culture in Japan, then head to Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop to enjoy the tea of Kyoto to your heart’s content.
2: “Eating Tea” – A matcha-filled meal at Tatsumiya
After learning all about tea, we headed to Tatsumiya to eat food dotted with all kinds of tea. To get there, head across the bridge opposite Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop and walk for about 10 minutes. See the sign and entrance above.
We ordered the matcha course (抹茶料理) which cost ¥4,500 (tax included, service charge separate). Lots of different matcha-incorporated food came out the kitchen one by one.
Everything on the trays used matcha. The tempura is eaten with matcha salt, there was matcha rice porridge – the list goes on.
Of course the final dessert had matcha in it too♡
We recommend trying this matcha course for yourself, it’s something you don’t really see. Plus, you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the Uji River.
3: “Ikkyuji Temple” – Where Ikkyū spent his last years
The final place we’d like to recommend is Shuonan Ikkyujin Temple where the famous witty Buddhist monk Ikkyū spent his final years. The temple grounds are home to maple trees which are best seen from mid-November to late November.
The red and yellow leaves had already begun blooming when we arrived. The temple is one famous for its autumn colours, but its real highlight is that it’s the place where Ikkyū spent his time.
Zenzai (with Ikkyuji Temple Natto): ¥700 (Tax Included)
Zenzai is a red bean soup made with adzuki beans eaten during wintertime in Japan. Did you know that it was Ikkyū himself who named this dish? Apparently it was his favourite thing to eat. At the temple you can enjoy zenzai, Ikkyuji Temple natto and tea altogether.
“Ikkyū’s wit looks at things from both sides,” explained Tanabe, the temple’s chief priest.
Are we thankful to ourselves and those around us, or do we envy others? The choice is ours, but Tanabe kindly taught me the former. You may enjoy having a relaxing conversation with yourself too while looking out at Shuonan’s Japanese-style gardens.
Did you enjoy our 3 picks for Kyoto Infused with Tea? These aren’t the only places either – Kyoto is home to lots of hidden gem locations.”Discover your own Kyoto” too, one that only you know about.
Sayuri Mizuno / MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Chief Editor
Kyoto’s Sweet and Salty Matcha Cheese Tea is an Enlightening Flavour Discovery
15.August.2019 | FOOD
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo opened at Kiyomizu Gojozaka at the foot of the famous Kiyomizudera Temple as Kyoto’s first ever cheesecake shop to sell its delicious cheesecakes in a cute jar. On August 13, they released a mouthwateringly rich Matcha Cheese Tea which will enlighten you with a new way to enjoy matcha.
The Matcha Cheese Tea harnesses Kyoto’s unbeatable Uji matcha which is full of rich and fresh flavour. A light cloud of fluffy cheese foam floats on top of the drink, adding a salty accent to the overall flavour. A traditional tea combined with a sweet and salty cheese flavour ー this brand new flavour discovery will leave you feeling refreshed and enlightened. The recipe for the cheese foam consists of cream cheese carefully selected by the cheesecake shop’s specialists. This is then blended with a small amount of salt to accent the flavour.
If you mix the matcha milk tea with the cheese foam, the rich matcha mixes with the saltiness of the cream cheese, creating a sweet salty flavour that you will not be able to get enough of. As the flavour is not too overpowering, you can enjoy this drink endlessly and will feel refreshed even on a hot summer’s day.
Matcha Cheese Tea: ￥460
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo recommends three different ways to drink the Matcha Cheese Tea to enjoy three different levels of flavour combinations.
① First off, drink just the matcha milk tea so you can experience the true authentic flavour of Kyoto’s famous rich Uji matcha tea.
② Next, move your straw so that you taste just the cheese foam on its own. The fluffy foam will gently slide over your tongue and spread a mild and sweet flavour all over your mouth.
③ Finally, it’s time to mix everything. The saltiness of the cheese foam and the sweetness of the matcha milk will create a new salty sweet flavour that you will want to try again and again.
Whether you are a Japanese local or a foreigner, this drink is a fun new way to enjoy matcha. If you are new to matcha, this is a good way to try the flavour without being too overwhelmed.
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo (清水チーズ工房)
Address: 569-10, Shiraitocho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 11:00 ー 17:30
No fixed closed days.
Official Website: http://kiyomizu-cheese.com/
Haneda Airport Releases First Bubble Tea Which Passengers Can Enjoy as They Fly
13.August.2019 | FOOD
XFLAG STORE + HANEDA is a small branch of XFLAG STORE and is located in Terminal 1 of Haneda Airport. On August 13th, they released three energising bubble tea flavours served in a bottle that you can take on board with you when travelling along domestic air routes. The three bubble tea flavours are; MILK TEA, HOJICHA (a type of green tea) and MATCHA.
These bubble tea flavours are limited to XFLAG STORE + HANEDA and were created with the intention of providing a splash of energizing fun to tiresome travels.
As long as you screw the lid on properly, you can store your delicious drink in your bag and even carry it onto your flight so you can enjoy it whilst soaring through the clouds. This is the first time a shop at Haneda airport has ever sold a bubble tea drink with the intention of flight passengers taking it on board with them.
*Drinks and liquids are usually permitted on domestic flights in Japan. Please check the specific rules of your flight by referring to the official website of your airline.
To commemorate the release of the new bubble teas, XFLAG STORE + HANEDA has launched an Instagram campaign with the chance to win an Amazon gift card worth ￥10,000 (approx. 80GBP/95USD).
To take part in the Instagram campaign for the chance to win a ￥10,000 Amazon gift card, be sure to take a photo with your XFLAG STORE + HANEDA bubble tea drink and then post the picture on Instagram with the following three hashtags:
#旅タピ #タピオカ #空の上で飲めるタピオカドリンク
Four winners will be selected.
Get your summer holidays off to a soaring start with a beautiful bottle of bubble tea.
MILK, HOJICHA, MATCHA Bubble Teas
Price: ￥650 (before tax)
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Available at: XFLAG STORE + HANEDA
Address: Haneda Airport Terminal 1 South Wing, floor 3 (3-3-2 Haneda Airport, Ota Ward, Tokyo)
*Bubble teas sold may differ in appearance to the images in this article.
* The MILK Bubble Tea (cup) is also available at XFLAG STORE SHINSAIBASHI. Both the HOJICHA and MATCHA Bubble Tea flavours are limited to XFLAG STORE + HANEDA.
XFLAG STORE Portal Website: https://xfl.ag/soratapi
4 Must-Visit Fireworks Festivals in Kyoto This Summer
10.August.2019 | SPOT
Kyoto―also known as the “old capital” and said to be the birthplace of Japanese culture. In its 1,200 year history, this ancient city has given rise to much of what can be considered quintessential Japanese culture. Fireworks are a monumental feat of summer in Japan with countless festivals up and down the country dedicated to them, and Kyoto is no exception.
If you’re in Kyoto this summer then you mustn’t miss these 4 fireworks festivals.
Kameoka Peace Festival Hozugawa River Fireworks Festival – A Magnificent Arsenal of 8,000 Beauties
This long-running event is held every year to pray for world peace. Its spectacular display features a lineup of fireworks specially selected by the Japan Fireworks Artist Association which aims to evolve the tradition of firework culture. Expect to see the night sky illuminated with a rainbow of colours from the festival’s launch of 8,000 fireworks, including the Starmine which shoots a cloud of bright stars into the overhead abyss, as well as some original fireworks crafted for the festival such as the “Kamemaru Hanabi.”
▼Kameoka Heiwasai Hozugawa Fireworks Festival (Kameoka Peace Festival Hozugawa River Fireworks Festival)
Date: August 11, 2019
Time: From 19:30
Location: Hozubashi Bridge
Official Website: http://kameoka-hanabi.jp/
Kyoto Nantan City Fireworks Festival – The Spectacular Starmine
Held by the riverbed of the Katsura River, the fireworks festival in Nantan makes use of the opposite shore from the viewing point which makes the fireworks look like they are raining down from the sky like a waterfall. The finale of this festival welcomes the behemoth of all Starmine fireworks which rips across the night sky in a blazing spread. The festival is also held as part of the Bon Festival and so lanterns are let loose down the Ōi River, creating a sight of subtle grace and beauty.
▼Kyoto Nantan City Fireworks Festival
Date: August 14, 2019
Time: From 19:30
Location: Katsura River
Official Website: http://www.yagi-hanabi.com/
Miyazu Toronagashi Fireworks Festival – Floating Lanterns & Fireworks For 400 Years
Held in the city of Miyazu, this festival combines fireworks with floating lanterns and shoryobune―boats adorned with tanzaku paper slips that are sent out to light the way for the deceased as part of the Bon Festival. Floating lanterns on the water (known as toronagashi in Japanese) in Miyazu began 400 years ago. This year, it was counted as one of Japan’s three biggest toronagashi events.
Together with the boat, around 10,000 lanterns are sent into Miyazu Bay, creating a beautiful and majestic atmosphere. Close to 3,000 fireworks are set to illuminate the sky above, leading to an indescribable beauty as the fireworks and lights give off their own light.
▼Miyazu Toronagashi Fireworks Festival
Date: August 14, 2019
Time: From 19:30
Location: Shimasaki Park
Official Website: https://www.kyo.or.jp/miyazu/hanabi/
Ine Fireworks – Fireworks Galore Envelop Ine Bay
Around 1,200 fireworks climb up and over Ine Bay, lighting the calm water surface and the funaya boat houses of Ine with their brilliance. The boat houses themselves are also strung and lined with hanging lanterns.
Date: August 24, 2019
Location: Ine, Kyoto
Official Website: http://www.ine-kankou.jp/inehanabi/
Did you enjoy our pick? It isn’t summer in Japan without fireworks. If you’re travelling to Kyoto to catch some sun this year, finish the day off with one of its many fireworks festival―from traditional Kyoto-esque events to large-scale ones with 8,000 fireworks ready to be deployed.
Sold Out On Day One―Itohkyuemon’s Matcha Parfait Bars Release at Gion Shijo Store
10.August.2019 | FOOD
Kyoto-based Uji tea store Itohkyuemon released its new Matcha Parfait Bars at its new branch in Gion Shijo on August 7.
The bars proved so popular that all 1,500 in stock sold out on the first day. The store is currently being piled with orders for future sales. There are five flavours to enjoy: the classic matcha parfait flavour as well as cherry blossom, tropical, mont blanc, and strawberry.
Matcha Parfait Bar – Matcha
The matcha flavoured bar retains the original rich flavour of the Uji matcha, which has been passed down since the Muromachi period, and combines it with a delicious assortment of parfait toppings including raw matcha chocolate, mini daifuku, coarse sweet red bean paste, and more.
Matcha Parfait Bar – Sakura (Cherry Blossom)
For another traditional Japanese twist there is the springtime sakura parfait bar which is made with cherry blossom pink rice flour dumplings and ice cream. It’s also topped with cherry blossom cream and salted cherry blossom petals for a cute finish.
Matcha Parfait Bar – Tropical
Tropical flavours like pineapple and mango blend together in this bar which is drizzled in a sweet, sour and refreshing tropical sauce. Topped with fresh tropical fruits, this is the ultimate summertime luxury.
Matcha Parfait Bar – Mont Blanc
This bar incorporates a sense of autumn with its mix of candied chestnut, astringent chestnut skin, and melt-in-the-mouth mont blanc cream.
Matcha Parfait Bar – Strawberry
Strawberry lovers will delight in the handmade strawberry sauce and strawberry meringue of this bar. The meringue elevates the sumptuous flavours of the parfait even more, including the fresh strawberry, raspberry and blueberry toppings which provide a sweet and sour kick.
Which of these Matcha Parfait Bars do you want to try the most?
Matcha Parfait Bars
Released: July 10, 2019 (On August 7, 2019 at the Gion Shijo branch)
Matcha Parfait Bar – Matcha: ¥540 (Tax Included)
Matcha Parfait Bar – Sakura (Cherry Blossom): ¥590 (Tax Included)
Matcha Parfait Bar – Tropical: ¥590 (Tax Included)
Matcha Parfait Bar – Mont Blanc: ¥590 (Tax Included)
Matcha Parfait Bar – Strawberry: ¥640 (Tax Included)
Participating Branches: Uji Honten, JR Uji Station, Gion Shijo, Byodoin, Kyoto Station, and online shop
Online Shop Product Page: https://www.itohkyuemon.co.jp/site/parfait-bar/index.html
Stay Cool This Summer in Kyoto at These 4 Nature Spots
When talking about seasons in Kyoto, a lot of people are sure to point towards autumn when the leaves turn fiery red and sun yellow. But did you know that in Kyoto enjoys cool and truly beautiful summers?
If you’re in the old capital this summer, or are planning to catch the sun there with a trip next year, then you’ll want to add the 4 spots in this list into your schedule, each abloom with magical foliage and verdure.
We are joined by Macchan, a Japanese Instagrammer who snaps photos of sightseeing spots around Kyoto lush with greenery.
Giouji Temple is a modest thatched hut wrapped in a bamboo thicket and maple trees. The temple is detailed in the epic The Tale of the Heike in which the dancer Gio fled to the temple from her home in the capital with her mother and sister after falling out of love with Taira no Kiyomori.
A visit here ensures you can enjoy the summer with more than just your eyes as you listen to the dancing of the bamboo thicket and the cries of the cicadas.
Address: 32 Sagatoriimoto Kozakachō, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
Official Website: http://www.giouji.or.jp/en
Adashino Nenbutsu-ji is a Buddhist temple with a history spanning 1,200 years. A memorial service for those who died without kin is taking place on August 23 and 24 at the riverbed of the temple’s west wing where candles will be lit in their honour. Lanterns are also lit in the surrounding area along the streets.
Address: 17 Saga Toriimotoadashinocho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
Official Website: http://www.nenbutsuji.jp/index.html
Fushimi Port Park
Fushimi Port Park is a huge park home to a gymnasium and sumo area. They also have a hiking course. The sea does not reach here, but there is a canal which boats go up and down, and this is where the park gets its name. It has a bounty of trees and plants, so if you’re looking to enjoy a peaceful stroll in nature then be sure to visit.
Fushimi Port Park
Address: Yoshijima Kanaidocho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto
Official Website: http://www.kyoto-park.or.jp/fushimi/
This residence was built for and used by the Kan’in-no-miya family in 1710, with Prince Naohito as its founder―the son of Emperor Higashiyama. The family lived in the house until 1877 after which they moved to Tokyo. Following the war, it was liberated and became a park, and today it is used to exhibit photography and paintings. The residence is famous for its peach trees, making it a popular spot in spring. However, in summertime, it’s much quieter, adding grace to the tranquillity of the surrounding green landscape. What’s more is that despite it being such a prestigious location, it’s free to enter! Don’t tell too many people about this secret spot.
Address: 3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo War, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: https://kan-in-nomiya-teiato.jp/eng/
Macchan has visited many incredible spots around Kyoto, so if you’re in need of recommendations be sure to give them a follow.
Best Kyoto Souvenirs to Pick Up This Summer at Daimaru Kyoto
08.August.2019 | FOOD
Are you planning to shop for souvenirs in Kyoto this August? Daimaru Kyoto has the perfect lineup for the summer season, from cool and refreshing wagashi confections to sweets made with matcha grown in Kyoto and more―all packaged in gorgeous in packaging exclusive to the Kyoto branch of Daimaru. Here’s our top picks for summer 2019!
Ryo no Seifuu (Contains 8) @ Sasaya Iori, Floor B1F Wagashi Marketplace – ¥2,160 (Tax Included) *Available until Mid-August
Inspired by cool springs, this tasty Japanese-style confection comes in 4 different refreshing and fruity flavours.
Kuzu Nagashi (Contains 3) @ Oimatsu, Floor B1F Wagashi Marketplace – ¥1,339 (Tax Included) *Available until Mid-August
Indulge in two different flavours of arrowroot: one made with brown sugar from the island of Hateruma and another with sweet apricot juice. The brown sugar arrowroot is also mixed with honey and the apricot with apricot honey.
Kakitsubata (Contains 6) @ Shogoin Yatsuhashi Sohoten, Floor B1F Wagashi Marketplace – ¥540 (Tax Included)
Yatsuhashi is a classic Japanese confection and is a famous souvenir sweet in Kyoto. These uncooked yatsuhashi have a faint cinnamon aroma and are formed in a way similar to dango.
Salted Lemon Pound Cake (1 Cake) @ Adachi Otoemon, Floor B1F Wagashi Marketplace – ¥2,160 (Tax Included)
Laced with tangy lemon skin, this refreshing pound cake is topped with rock salt which elevates the flavours to delicious new heights.
Raw Uji Matcha Chocolate (Contains 8) @ ATELIER de GODIVA [Kyoto Branch Only], Floor B1F Wagashi Marketplace – ¥2,916 (Tax Included) *Available until Mid-August
Luxurious, rich and melt-in-your-moth raw chocolate made lavishly with bitter Uji matcha.
Kyo Chafure (Contains 5) @ Kyoto Tsuruya, Floor B1F Wagashi Marketplace – ¥810 (Tax Included)
These soft doughy sablés made with rich Uji matcha.
Koto no Natsu @ Nomura Kyotsukidani, Floor B1F Tsukudani Marketplace – ¥1,080 (Tax Included)
If you’re looking for something a little more savoury then you’ll absolutely want to check out the popular chirimen sansho, dried whitebait seasoned with pepper. It comes packaged in beautiful summery Kyoto packaging.
Did you enjoy this list? Be sure to pick up as many tasty edible Kyoto souvenirs while exploring the ancient city.
Address: 79 Tachiuri Nishimachi, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
Business Hours: 10:00-20:00
Official Website: https://www.daimaru.co.jp/kyoto/
Become Poop and Travel Through the Body in Kyoto’s Bizarre Exhibition
The Toei Kyoto Studio Park―a theme park in Kyoto modelled after the Edo period of Japan―is set to hold an exhibition from next month titled “A Bizarrely Great Adventure Through the Body” in which you can travel through a giant model of a body to learn all about faeces.
The event is themed on the best-selling children’s book series Grossology by Sylvia Branzei which gives humorous but straightforward descriptions of bodily functions and various medical conditions.
Stinky Poop (Unchi Kusai), the ninja mascot of the event, will join visitors on their adventure as they experience the gross potential of the human body: burps, farts, bodily odours, and more.
A total of fifteen attractions will make up the event where kids and adults can discover the “secrets” of the human body.
At the Sneeze Shutter you will learn why we sneeze by firing balls―the “foreign substance” entering the nose―into the giant nostrils which will cause it to become itchy. If you can get five balls into the nose it will let out a sneeze and blown out the balls.
The Kidney Game
At the Kidney Game you will help deliver urea, sugar, and other materials necessary for the kidney to the blood vessels to understand how the kidney functions.
Poop Fortune Telling
Sit on a real toilet and a poo character will appear on the monitor to tell you your fortune that day.
Learn all about poo at the display board which features lots of interesting information.
Why do we burp when we drink fizzy beverages? Burp Kid will explain it to you.
Take a photo with the giant poo
At the end of your trip to the event, take a commemorative photo next to the giant poo pile and butthole.
This is just a snippet of what there is to see at Kyoto’s bizarre poo exhibition. Visit to learn all about something we all do but don’t talk about!
A Bizarrely Great Adventure Through the Body (Japanese: からだのふしぎ大冒険)
Running: September 14, 2019 – December 15, 2019
Price: General (13+ Years) ¥800 / Children (3-12 Years) ¥600
*A separate fee will be charged for entry to Toei Kyoto Studio Park
*Children aged 2-years and below are permitted free entry
Event Page (Japanese): http://www.toei-eigamura.com/event/detail/240
Set tickets for the event and entry to Toei Kyoto Studio Park are now on sale at FamilyMart.
Adults: Park Entry ¥2,100 + Event Entry ¥800
Junior High School Students: Park Entry ¥2,000 + Event Entry ¥800
Children (3-12 Years): Park Entry ¥1,600 + Event Entry ¥600
*By buying this set you get ¥100 off what you would pay for purchasing them separately. The first 2,000 people to buy a children’s ticket set will receive a plush toy
Toei Kyoto Studio Park
Address: 10 Uzumasa Higashihachiokachō, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
Experience Kyoto at Night: 5 Must-See Spots – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON
The ancient city of Kyoto enjoys waves of tourists and sightseers from around the world throughout the year. It is particularly hot during the summertime because it’s situated in a valley. If you’ve never walked around Kyoto’s towns at night then we invite you to add it onto your list of sightseeing experiences.
We have compiled a list of 5 must-visit locations to best enjoy Kyoto’s nightscape. We are joined by Taka, a Japanese Instagrammer who conveys the beauty of Kyoto through his picturesque photographs which has has provided us today.
Kyoto Station & Kyoto Tower
The modern architecture of Kyoto Station is a juxtaposition against the traditional image of Kyoto. There are lots of great places inside the station where you can get up high and gaze down at Kyoto’s streets, but the absolutely unmissable nighttime spot are the mirrored windows. When evening sets in, you can see Kyoto Tower―which is opposite the station―reflected on the outside. Of course, you can enjoy the tower during the day too, but at night they light it up, making for a truly magical sight.
Address: Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Kyoto Station Building Official Website: https://www.kyoto-station-building.co.jp/
Address: 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:40)
*Opening hours subject to change without notice
Official Website: https://www.keihanhotels-resorts.co.jp/kyoto-tower/
Yasaka Shrine is an easy sightseeing spot to reach being just a 5-minute stroll from Gion-Shijo Station. The shrine is a power spot said to provide good luck when it comes to marriage ties. It bustles with visits from people from around the world and is in fact open 24-hours a day.
Paying a visit at night provides you with an entirely different look at Yasaka Shrine. Why not dine out along Shijō Street and take a walk to the shrine when the sky turns dark?
Address: 625 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: http://www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp/
Kyoto Minamiza Theatre
Minamiza is the oldest theatre in Japan and is officially registered as a Japanese Tangible Cultural Property. Like Yasaka Shrine, the closest station to the theatre is Gion-Shijo Station. Leave through Exit 6 and it’s right outside.
Minamiza has a long history spanning back to 1610 when it was founded. In May this year, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performed a special concert there entitled Kyary Kabuki Kabuki which made use of projection mapping, fusing history and tradition with the latest cutting-edge technology to provide a concert like no other. The theatre is becoming a new sightseeing spot as it is lit up at nighttime. All of the lights are turned on until 10pm after which just the roof lights are kept on.
▼Kyoto Minamiza Theatre
Address: 198 Nakanocho, Higashiyama, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.shochiku.co.jp/play/theater/minamiza/
Ninenzaka is a long winding road that leads up to Kiyomizu-dera temple and is also a very famous tourist spot. It is registered under the Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings. In the daytime, the street bustles with locals and tourists dipping in and out of the souvenir shops, but the dark evenings of Ninenzaka are another kind of wonderful. The number of tourists drops significantly at night meaning you can have the street all to yourself and take plenty of photos, warm lanterns lighting your way.
Address: 2 Kiyomizu, Masuyacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: http://www.2nenzaka.ne.jp/
Kiyomizu-dera is a 25-minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojō Station which is reached via the Keihan Main Line. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient Buddhist temple is a very popular tourist destination. What we want those of you to see when visiting in the evening is the beautiful sunset which can be seen from the temple, colouring the streets of Kyoto a gorgeous orange.
Address: 1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/access.php
Official Website: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/
Taka has visited so many incredible locations in Kyoto, so if you’re planning a trip there and need some recommendations be sure to follow him on Instagram.
Stay in a Traditional Japanese Hotel in Kosuge Village Where the Population is Just 700
NIPPONIA Kosuge Genryū no Mura is a new hotel opening in the village of Kosuge in Kitatsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture on August 17. The hotel is renovated from an old Japanese-style house that was originally used for local personages and was constructed over 150 years ago.
Kosuge is about two-hours from Tokyo and is completely enveloped in the natural environment with 95% of the land occupied by trees and nature. Its population is around 700 which is a mere third of its peak population. It is currently faced with a serious depopulation problem due to its ageing population.
The hotel will open in an effort to pass on the beautiful landscapes and culture of the village to the next generation. It hopes to aid in solving the problem of its declining population and empty houses while acting as a means to bring in tourism and sightseeing.
The hotel serves as just the first part of this village revitalisation project. It features 4 guest rooms called OHYA as a restaurant that seats 22.
There are three rooms in the main building and one in the basement. Each is designed with privacy in mind and each has its own concept.
From the rooms guests can enjoy the view of the gorgeous Japanese-style gardens surrounding the hotel.
The restaurant menu concept is titled 24 Sekki, which denotes the twenty four seasonal turning points of the old Japanese calendar, and is made using carefully local ingredients so that guests can enjoy an authentic Kosuge experience.
All the staff at the hotel are local villagers. The majority of the ingredients used in there are grown and produced by the farmers of Kosuge. The hotel also offers other services for guests to get to know the area better such as nature walks and bike rides through the village. You are made to feel like one of the locals.
A second building will be renovated in May 2020 to accommodate two more rooms. There are 70-100 vacant buildings in Kosuge, so there are plans in place to receive permission from landlords to make further repairs, improvements and renovations.
If you’re travelling to Japan and are looking for a truly remote experience then why not visit the quaint little village of Kosuge in Yamanashi Prefecture?
NIPPONIA Kosuge Genryū no Mura
Address: 3155-1 Kosuge, Kitatsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture (In Japanese: 山梨県北都留郡小菅村3155-1)
Grand Opening: August 17, 2019
Rooms: 4 (10 People)
Price: From ¥25,000 per person (includes one breakfast)
①Approximately 2 hours by car from Tokyo.
②1 hour by bus from Ōtsuki Station via the JR Chūō Main Line, 70-minutes by car from Oume Interchange
③1 hour by bus from Okutama Station via the Ōme Line, 20-minutes by car from Lake Okutama
Reservations: Open from August 1, 2019 via the following website: https://www.ikyu.com/vacation/00050804/
Gaze at Shooting Stars at Akiyoshidai in Yamaguchi Prefecture with New Night Tour
31.July.2019 | SPOT
Akiyoshidai is located in Mine, Yamaguchi. It is Japan’s biggest karst plateau and is designated as a natural monument. If you love the stars in the night sky then you’ll want to hear about the new shooting star night tours that have been announced by the Mine City Tourism Information Center.
Cities, towns and villages across Japan are seeking to cater tourist and travelers needs to experience something that only that place can offer which can be enjoyed by simply by ‘looking.’
Akiyoshidai is a very popular site with photographers as it offers a clear and unbroken view of the stars. Mine City Tourism Information Center is capitalizing on this by offering more tours to visitors.
This series of tours will make it easier for people to travel to Akiyoshidai from the town area while taking advantage of a location where there is little artificial light.
Check the official website for more details on how you can witness the incredible Japanese night sky.
Akiyoshidai Stars Accomodation Plan
Visiting Hakone? Pick Up A Freshly Baked Hakone Basque Cheesecake
29.July.2019 | FOOD
A brand new Basque Cheesecake shop called Hakone Cheese Terrace opened on July 26th. The carefully balanced rich flavour and smooth texture of these cheesecakes makes them the perfect Hakone souvenir! Basque cheesecake is a type of burnt cheesecake that originated from Basque, Spain.
Hakone is home to a large number of Japan’s popular tourist spots as well as relaxing hot springs and beautiful nature. Located just 1.5 hours from Tokyo, Hakone has an extraordinary atmosphere which will heal both your body and mind. Hakone Cheese Terrace opened to enhance the appeal of the nature surrounding Hakone resorts and to contribute to the fascinating culture of the area.
The basque cheesecake comes in a mini cup so customers can enjoy this delicious treat while on the go exploring the local area. This is also the perfect souvenir size.
The cheesecakes at Hakone Cheese Terrace are made mostly from locally sourced ingredients. For a creamy, fresh taste, milk sourced from the south of Hakone is combined with high-quality cream cheese. An original recipe blend is used for a rich flavour and smooth texture.
The cheesecakes are baked fresh at the shop so you can enjoy your cheesecake at its most delicious stage. Rock salt, black pepper and soy sauce are available as toppings for customers to discover a new flavour.
Come enjoy the flavours of Hakone to your heart’s content at Hakone Cheese Terrace.
Hakone Cheese Terrace
Address: 54 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
Access: 3-minute walk from Motohakone Minato, 1-minute walk from Hakone Jinja Iriguchi (Hakone Shrine entrance), Hakone Tozan Bus.
Opening Hours: 9:00 ー 16:00
Official site: https://hakone-cheese-terrace.com/
Kyoto’s Famous Buddhist Temple With Heart Window Holds Wind Chime Festival
The ancient city of Kyoto enjoys flurries of tourists and sightseers from around the world throughout the year. It is particularly hot during the summertime because it’s located in a valley.
Shojuin is a Buddhist Temple located in a summer retreat that was erected nearly 800 years ago. Hidden at the temple is the 11-faced Buddha statue of Kannon Bosatsu which is open to the public only once every 50 years.
The temple has a long history, and today it is used as a site for yoga, copying the sutras, and other activities when booked in advance. It’s enjoyed by people of all ages.
Today, we are joined by Macchan, an Instagrammer who tours the many sightseeing spots of Kyoto. They have provided photographs of the must-see parts of this ancient temple.
Shojuin is famous for its beautiful heart-shaped window located in the reception hall as well as its 160 pieces of ceiling art. The decorative window has been around for nearly 1,400 years and has survived disasters. It stands as a symbol of happiness.
From outside the heart window visitors can enjoy the different flowers through the four seasons. Right now during summer the view is a green spectacle. At nighttime the outdoor garden is lit up beautifully as shown in the photo.
Shojuin is famous for its summer Wind Chime Festival which is currently running until September 18.
2,000 colourful wind chimes gently sway around the temple with the summer breeze. The chimes are there for their sound and appearance and to elicit that sense of refreshing coolness.
Even the wind chimes are illuminated in the evenings. They are lit up on weekends only (except August 1 to 18) from 18:00-20:00.
The hypnotic ring of the wind chimes sounds they are calling the wind. If you’re travelling to Kyoto this hot summer, why not plan a trip to Shojuin?
Macchan has lots of other photos on their Instagram where you can feel the vibe of Kyoto. Use it as reference when you’re planning your Kyoto sightseeing.
Address: Kawakami-149 Okuyamada, Ujitawara, Tsuzuk District, Kyoto
①Reachable by Keihan Uji Bus (Numbers 180, 182 or 184) from Uji Station and Shin-Tanabe Station. Get off at Ichumae Bus Stop (維中前)
②10 minutes by the Okayamada Community Bus or taxi
Official Website: http://shoujuin.boo.jp/